Social Work students
Welcome and thank you! Field education, or social work practicum, is a critical educational experience for social work students. The practicum is a part of the formal curriculum and educational experience within the BSW program. It is also structured to meet the accreditation standards for the social work program. Therefore, a number of guidelines are provided by the program to assure the students' learning experience is the focus of the practicum experience. We are deeply appreciative to the field instructors, past and present, who have provided such rich experiences to our students. Field is the highlight of most students' educational experiences.


Students complete two semesters (200 contact hours each semester) of participation in a social work experience within an approved program with an appropriately credentialed social work instructor. Agencies participating in field make a commitment to the educational experience of the student as the basis for the experience. 

Most students complete field education during fall and subsequent spring semester of their fourth or fifth year. The program is currently scheduled to have a small number of students in practicum during the summer. Students each summer will complete all 400 hours during the two six-week summer sessions.

Agency Requirements

All agencies providing field instruction to CMU social work students must have an affiliation agreement on file with Central Michigan University before the student may enter the agency. In becoming a field practicum site, agencies are making a commitment to work within the expectations of the BSW program, as found in the field education manual. 

Contact the social work field director for further information about how to become a placement site. Note that there must be a person with a social work degree and adequate experience available to serve as the field instructor. While other staff may actively support the student's learning experience, the social worker is responsible for the planning, implementation, and evaluation of the student.

Field instructor requirements and training

New field instructors are required to attend an orientation at the beginning of the year in which they receive their first student. This orientation is critical in assisting field instructors to understand the educational context of the practicum and to learn about the requirements for the experience.

Field education policies and procedures

The Social Work Field ​Manual​ provides current information about policies and procedures for the practicum experience. A current year schedule of due dates and events directly related to field is found in the field manual.

Contact Information

Lissa M. Schwander, Ph.D., MSW
Interim Field Coordinator
Anspach 034E
Phone: (989) 774-7467
Fax: (989) 774-2140